ACSM’s Health and Fitness journal has released the latest top fitness trends. There was no surprise when wearables trumped the top spot for 2019, with group training and HIIT following in second and third place.
In 2016 and 2017, wearables took the top spot for trends, but before this, it hadn’t even made it on the report. This shows that technology is helping to drive the enthusiasm of users within facilities, and more operators should be in tune with this offering.
Is it still a trend or is it here to stay? More and more people are getting involved with wearables, whether that be for everyday use to help monitor or motivate their activity, or to help deliver faster, more measurable results.
The biggest challenge the industry faces with this is the ability to engage and help the specific wearable to not be a flashpoint, which after a couple of months ends up sitting on a shelf never to be dusted off until the following January. Wearable technology, like Apple Health, has helped break down barriers by allowing wearables to be accessible — rather than just having a high ticket price.
But how do operators capitalize on this to help make potential or existing users take that step to regular activity? Operators need to look at their strategy, and if wearables are not part of that, then they may get left behind. Wearables are extremely accessible and workable for clubs and with key industry-designed wearable solutions, operators can certainly take full advantage.
A lot of operators tend to find barriers from their teams when looking to implement a wearable strategy, but the key is to ensure the solution fits the facility, ethos and overall community. Work out what you want it to do — just to fill a gap is not a long-term strategy, it simply is a reactive response, which as we know is usually short lived.
Wearables are not going away, so embrace it and invest time to find the best solution as you move into 2019.